Category: Golf Humour

Planning A Golf Holiday With Your Friends – Just Don’t Be “That Guy”

Planning A Golf Holiday With Your Friends – Just Don’t Be “That Guy”

We all love a golf getaway with our friends, one full of laughs, experiences and memories that last a lifetime. Every time you meet afterwards, a story will come up and whisk you all back to the holiday, rekindling happy thoughts of the fantastic adventure you shared together.

However, from time to time there is always “that guy”.  The stories seem to take a different tone, a “I can’t believe he did that” or “how embarrassed he must be” comment instead of bringing back joyful memories. Who is “that guy”?

The perfectionist who thinks he is everyone else’s coach and will comment and offer advice after every swing whether it is on the range, during the round or afterwards in the nineteenth hole. You know the one. He shoots a higher score than everyone else, but insists he knows everything there is to know about the golf swing and will constantly tell you everything that you are doing wrong.  Or worst, after you hit a good shot, he will comment that you got lucky or got away with one there. Don’t be this guy.

The fisherman who cannot walk by a water hazard without grabbing his trusty ball retriever and begins fishing for balls. As everyone else is continuing the hole, he stays there fishing for ball after ball and then realizing half of them are not worth playing and throws them back into the hazard. Your ball retriever becomes your most played club during the round and everyone else is just becoming annoyed. Don’t be this guy.

Qualifier for Team Rolex.  This is a term that is used for someone that is constantly playing slower then slow. He is the one who is so meticulous over every shot that he slows down the entire group turning what could have been a nice leisurely round into a six-hour painful encounter. He looks at every putt from six different angles, constantly throws grass in the air on a perfectly calm day, and takes four looks at the target after setting up before striking the ball. As the late legendary Moe Norman once asked me “the target doesn’t move, does it?” From that point on, it is one look and then fire.  Team Rolex is nothing to brag about, don’t be this guy.

The tour star who thinks he plays by half yardages and berates his caddie for every missed shot. Sure, the caddies yardages or reads may be slightly off from time to time, but in reality plenty of their advice or guidance is helping you a lot more than it is hurting you. Also, these caddies probably worked in the rice fields before this job, not on tour. Be patient with the caddies as they are a great addition to the round and bring a sense of joy and appreciation to the game. We all miss some shots from time to time, and sometimes it is just that, a missed shot. Enjoy the experience of a caddie and don’t be this guy.

There is always something guy.  The greens are too slow, the greens are too fast, the course is too dry, the course is too wet, the course is so short, the course is impossible long, it is too hot today, it is always raining, the group in front of us is so slow, why is the group behind playing so quick, the fairways are too narrow, the course is a wide-open pasture. We all know this guy, there is always something that he will complain about no matter how good the day, the course or the experience is. The rest of the group is enjoying the fact of being away from home and playing some golf.  Relax, smile, have fun and don’t be this guy.

Mr. Mulligan who always needs a second try at every shot and insists of counting Player B for his score. No matter the result of the first shot, he is convinced he could have done better and will always say “hold on, just one more” and reload time and time again. Once and a while we would all like a do-over or maybe have a breakfast ball off the first tee, but the rest of the time as Bobby Jones eloquently stated “in golf as in life, we have to play the ball as it lies”.  Besides a miracle recovery from deep within the trees is always remembered more than a simple shot from the middle of the fairway, so don’t be this guy.

Mr. Smooth who always thinks he can score with the caddies. Sure, a little flirtation is some of the fun part of having a young cute caddie with your group for the round, but this guy likes to take it a step further into that uncomfortable zone. The caddy’s cute smiles and adorable nature is part of their charm, but they are there for the job of caddying, not finding a date for the night. Have fun and the odd joke and wink but keep it to a caddie and player relationship, no further, don’t be this guy.

Fabrege Egg guy who can never abandon a search for his lost ball. He’s the one that hit his shot a mile into the swamp, but will search aimlessly for a ball of similar value to replace his lost beloved Pro V. You should always play a ball that you are willing to lose, not one that will stop the flow of the round for 15 minutes as you keep saying “I know it’s right here somewhere” as everyone else is wanting to continue the game, don’t be this guy.

Blowing a gasket guy.  We all get a little frustrated with poor shots or a high score on a hole, but most of us know that is just part of golf and mumble to ourselves under breath and head off to the next hole. But not this guy, he throws clubs, rips gloves, curses out loud and gets into a foul mood that nobody wants to be around. The rest of the group becomes tense and don’t quite know what to do or say as they are afraid to tip him over the edge even more. Yes, this guy will not only ruin his own round by imploding, but also distracts others from their game and enjoyment of the beautiful time away. Don’t be this guy.

So, there you have it. Be on the look-out if one of these personality traits starts creeping into your game while enjoying a round in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia or any other Indochina destination on your Golfing Holiday as “this guy” will not only be a detriment to your game, but will take away from all your friends vacation and you definitely don’t want to be that guy. –

Caddie Championship in Thailand

Caddie Championship in Thailand

Thailand is well known as a hot golfing destination with over 260 great golf courses and those ever smiling Thai Caddies.

Thailand Golf Caddies Come rain or shine they read the greens, give you the yardage, hold your umbrella and if you are lucky even give your shoulders a quick massage too.

After putting up with us holiday hackers, you would have thought they would have had enough of the golf course, but a large number actually like to play a round themselves.

Smart thinking General Managers encourage them to play on Monday’s or late in the evening, as it improves their knowledge and understanding of their course and the game overall.

Taking this a step further they now hold a series of Caddie Championships in various regions around Thailand sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Singha.

The hunt is on to find Thailand’s best lady caddy golfer.

The TAT – Singha Caddy Championship 2011 consists of six qualifying rounds leading to a grand final at Siam Old Course on September 26th.

All the rounds take place on a Monday rotating across six venues- Putalong Navy in Pattaya, Singha Park in Kong Kaen, Narai Hills in Lopburi, Majestic Creek in Hua Hin, Royal Hills in Nakon Nayok and Burapha in Pattaya.

There are 144 places at each venue and the top 24 golfers will qualify for the grand final. The sponsors’ support allows the caddies to play for a small entry fee that includes green fee, dinner and a lucky draw.

The Grand Final at Siam Old Course will see 144 qualifiers battling for the title of Thailand Caddy Champion, with a first prize of Baht 55,000.

What started out as a simple idea seems to be catching on as a team of Korean Caddies will fly to Thailand later in the year to play a team of Thai Caddies. Later on the will hold the International Caddy Championship in 2012 with teams from China, Japan, Korea and Thailand competing.

Maybe we can expect to find the future Michelle Wie or Yany Seng from these events.

Bottom line is the golf vacationers will now be getting some expert tips which has to be good!

All of this is great news for golfers and caddies alike. Next time you see that smiling face on the first tee, stop and think whether she might be a future LPGA champion as a result of this special opportunity.

Masteritist at Fever Pitch Here in Bangkok

Masteritist at Fever Pitch Here in Bangkok

23_VMA05_Winner_Shiv Kapur Well I did try everything to kick this dreadful disease…..but in the end the power of seeing a certain 21 year old from Northern Ireland win a green jacket, meant I woke up at 1.45hrs this morning in Bangkok and turned on the TV to watch the 75th Masters.

If you were a Hollywood script writer I don’t think you could come up with such a dream finish.

At one stage there were seven players tied for the lead!

Of course initially I was rooting for Rory McIlroy, but he seemed to disintegrate on the 10th hole and ended up losing it completely in one horrendous hole.

Meanwhile Tiger was playing for the USA as the only American on the first page of the leader board and it looked like a Tiger win was on the cards. Now, what a story that would have been. However after a couple of birdies went he finished with -10 and so can we say the Tiger is almost back on track?

Jason Day a 23 year old from Australia, fellow Ausi Adam Scott and Englishman Luke Donald all came within a whisker, with some gutsy shots on the final three holes.

However playing his usual solid and reliable game was South African Charl Schwartzel who came through the pack to claim the 2011 green jacket.

One could say that before his Major win, Charl was one of the up and coming European Tour players, who always was up there, but had not grabbed the limelight like his great buddy Louis Oosthuizen who won the 2010 British Open.

Well the golf tour moves away from the States this week as a mini Asian swing starts with the 50th Maybank Malaysian Open kicking off this week in KL, followed by the China Open and the Korean Open.

The promoters had paid for the big guns with Kaymer, Oosthuizen, Campbell and McIlroy to turn up at the KLGCC. Listed as a player this morning is a certain Charl Schwartzel playing under category B as a winner of a European and Challenge Tour event.

Now I would assume that the tournament promoter must be thinking he has won the PR coup of the year, by having the current Masters Champion in his field.

Asia is now attracting a lot of big name players over here on a regular basis and this has to be a great advert for our wonderful golf courses dotted about the South East Asian region.

Kaymer was the star turn in KL, Westwood will be teeing off the following week in Jakarta, and Els and co will join them in South Korea.

Behind the scenes I hear that there are plans to hold a major European and Asian tour event here in Thailand.

Asia and in particular Thailand already has a booming golfvacation industry.

With over 280 courses to choose, Thailand has numerous venues available. Watch this space?

Masteritist… a Very Serious Golfers Disease

Masteritist… a Very Serious Golfers Disease

I thought I was really suffering big time over the past five days, with what I thought might have been the dreaded Asian flu.

Blame it on the changeable weather we have been having over here in Thailand, but I had the mother of all coughs, a cold and just lost all my energy.

Swallowing all antibiotics under the sun, it just would not go away, and I was really getting concerned.

One of the problems that goes with flu and a bad cough, is you really don't get into a deep sleeping pattern, so I was up most of the nights.

By day three I was getting desperate, so turned on the TV at 02.45hrs and caught the first round of the Masters live from Augusta.

Yes while they are having tea in Augusta, we are just enjoying breakfast in Thailand, so the TV schedules are designed for insomniacs.

On the screen, was Rory shooting a fabulous opening round, and my personal favourite Ross Fisher getting – 3 for 5th position.

IMG_0318Having recently played the Royal Gems Golf Cityhere in Bangkok, where they have replicated the back nine at Augusta, it was even more special to see these guys coping with Amen corner and that crazy par 3, the famous 16th.

Not all the big stars shone with Westwood playing average, which World No 1 looked like he was really out of sorts. Henrik was just not in the zone and finished a dismal last at +8.

Woods and Mickelson were still there fine tuning their game. Not a classic round but a great start for Europe with Quiros making a late charge to tie with McIlroy.

By Round Two I was starting to get my energy back and actually managed to sleep until I woke with a start, to switch on the TV at 04.45hrs. Rory was now -10, Jason Day had shot a great 64 and wait a minute, isn't that Tiger, 'Son of Thailand', on -7. Yes Tiger was in the zone and you could hear the TV commentators getting excited, anticipating that ESPN would be getting some huge ratings if he made a charge.

I would assume that having paid a shed load of Dollars to persuade Martin Kaymer to tee off in next's week's Malaysian Open, Maybank the sponsors, must have been wondering if they had made the correct decision as the German missed the cut.

Wow with all this excitement, I seem to be feeling better and the flu had definitely disappeared at last. Now I had another illness, and it might mean a few more sleepless nights. Masteritist had taken over!

Still at this rate I only hope I have enough energy left to cover the Maybank Malaysian Open next week in KL. Hey the tournament organisers may have hit their own jackpot if Rory wins in Augusta, as he will be walking around the KLGCC with maybe a green jacket!

Masters Means Armchair Golf This Week

Masters Means Armchair Golf This Week

With the low season here in Thailand just started, the green fees are now reasonable, the weather is still very pleasant and the courses are exceptionally green.

RM16-4 This is a great time to get the clubs out of the cupboard and head to one of 280 wonderful golf courses dotted around this beautiful country.

The Koreans have returned home to play in the own back yard so the courses are also not too busy.

But I am afraid this will not be enough to entice me away from my home this week.

No I have filled the fridge, checked that the beers are cold and from Friday onwards I will be glued to my flat screen….yes the Masters are back and so don't call me unless it is life threatening.

Not sure where you are but here in Bangkok we will get live coverage starting at 02.00hrs on Friday. For wimps there will be delayed coverage during the day, but somehow it just is not the same.

I hope I can stay awake until 06.00hrs on Monday April 11th.

This year Thongchai Jaidee has dropped out of the World's top 50 so like me he will most likely be watching on his TV set too.

My hopes are for a European victory with a wild card bet on Ross Fisher to win, and who can leave out Luke and Lee as well.

Anyway if you don't enjoy the tension on the screen, then I am sure you will find the odd hacker out on the course, wondering why the course is so quite! Enjoy.

Hole in one – Thailand Golf

Hole in one – Thailand Golf

Thailand Golf Vacation

Arnold Palmer in 1986 got a hole in one during practice at a tournament, so a film crew turned up for the next day during the pro am, and told him they wanted to see if he could do it again. He got out his 5 iron and amazing Arnie got his second hole in one on the same hole. Two days running!

David Toms got one at a Major on and went on to win the PGA as a result.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee aced the 181-yard, par-3 fifth hole Saturday for the seventh hole-in-one in five U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach. It's the 41st known hole-in-one in tournament history and the first since Peter Hedblom aced the 238-yard third at Winged Foot in 2006.

One of the top YouTube films is Tiger Wood’s getting his hole in one in January 2008 on the 16th at Scottsdale Arizona  in front of 20,000 crazy golf fans.

Thailand-hole-in-one The Postage Stamp at Royal Troon was where the great Gene Sarazen got one his holes in one. Not an easy hole by any means. Why not try your luck out the replica version at the Royal Gems Golf City here in Bangkok.

Felicity Sieghart, 76 years old at the time, is believed to hold the record for the oldest person to make two holes-in-one during one round

Even a seven year old got his hole in one on TV during the Junior Open in America.

Super stars Jack Nicklaus has scored over 23 holes in one and Tiger has 18 to date.

So it is possible to do it more than once !

In golf, a hole in one or hole-in-one (also known as an ace) is when a player hits the ball directly from the tee into the cup with one shot. This is most possible on a par 3 hole.

Longer hitters have accomplished this feat on shorter par 4 holes. Nearly all par 4 and par 5 holes are too long for golfers to reach in a single shot.

Holes in one are extremely rare, and while it depends largely on the golfer's skill, many instances have been recorded when a ball has bounced off a tree, a bird in flight, or even a passing car, before settling into the hole.

Well I think all of us think and believe we could join this illustrious club, but perhaps we hope it won’t be on Saturday when the 19th hole will be packed, ready for you to buy the round of drinks.

Maybe golf insurance is worth considering, especially if you are running a hole in one price like a car, a holiday or boat.

And, just imagine if someone actually wins! What a day to remember that would be! But because you have insured the prize, all it has cost you is the modest hole in one insurance premium!

However, with 100 amateur golfers, a 165 yard hole and £10,000 car as a prize, the cost is £255. Just £2.55 per golfer!

Here in Thailand there are a number of par 3’s that I think have the potential to make your dream come true!

Take the 17th at Red Mountain Golf Club in Phuket, literally teeing off down an old disused mine shaft, or the 4th known as the Ravine at Santiburi Golf Club on the island of Koi Samui.

Let’s add the 8th an island hole at Riverdale in Bangkok, or maybe the 3rd at Maung Kaew also in the capital of Thailand. All these holes have the potential for that special moment in your own golfing history.

But remember for most of us mere mortals, you might like to know that the odds of an amateur getting a hole in one is 12,500 to 1. So maybe it’s worth saving your cash on the premium and use the money to enjoy an extra round on your Thailand Golf Vacation.

Old Age Pensioner Breaks Golf Record In Bangkok

Old Age Pensioner Breaks Golf Record In Bangkok

Having written my blogs covering other golfers making news for the past few months, please accept my apologies if this time I blow my own trumpet.

Firstly I admit that I am not a good golfer. My handicap registered by the Emirates Golf Federation a few years back is a mere 28, although some of my friends call me a bandit.

Here in Thailand I normally average 105 on my card, and that is tough going as it seems I am apparently allergic to sand!

In fact as a journalist, I try to write my articles and reports based on my own abilities as ‘a fat older golf tourist.’

I do however love golf, and always try to improve my own game…..currently I am heavily into the course management of my game. No heroics here, just get round in one piece, and keep the score below three figures if possible!

Last week I was invited to join a number of editors and journalists from Europe and the United States at the fabulous Thai Country Club here in Bangkok.

These respected reporters were here on a week’s trip to check out exactly why Thailand is one of the top golf destinations in the World.

Partnering Peter from the UK, Wee from Thailand and Alice from the United States, our four ball started off at midday.IMG_8206 I am on the left.

I had managed to secure the services of one of Thai Country Club’s top caddies Khun Chob, who is also herself a mean golfer as well.

At the first two par 4’s I scored bogeys, and then I conquered my fears of the third, a tricky par 3, and made par.

Unfortunately my third shot on the 4th hole was one for the cameras (Heroics again!!!)and it went into the water.  I ended up with had a horrible 8 on this clever par 5, which some say it is possibly one of the top ten holes in Thailand.

By the time we got to the 9th hole, my caddie Khun Chob informed me I was on 46. My usual figure for the front nine has been 52-55 so nothing special here I thought.

By the time we got to the tenth she told me I had actually made it in 46. She had tried to explain that if I got five on the ninth my score would be 46. Maybe it was her tactics to make me more relaxed, anyway I felt a lot better, and made par on the par 3 11th hole.

By now Khun Chob was reading the greens like a James Patterson paperback, and my putter was getting hotter too.

Things were going well and by the time I reached the 18th I had scored five pars and I was doing well.

However my drive on the 18th went over the trees onto the 14th fairway, and I thought that was it. Chob told me not to play out back onto the 18th fairway, but to carry on down the 14th parallel with the 18th fairway instead. My third shot was over some small palm trees and my ball landed on the green. Two putts and I made five.

I had made 93 which you might think is nothing special, but for me it was my best round to date.  A record for me that felt like my own British Open title.

Thai Country Club has played host to the likes of Ernie and Tiger who played there in the 90's. Golf Digest in the States rates the course their number one in Thailand too. So not only did I break my own record, but at one of the more difficult courses in Asia.

Now I cannot wait to get on some more courses here across Thailand and try to break my own record. I am beginning to understand why the country is called The Kingdom of Smiles.

I am still smiling!

Why Do I like to Play Golf in Thailand?

Why Do I like to Play Golf in Thailand?


Because I can get out into the fresh air, hit some balls and enjoy the company of some friends, for maybe five hours.

OK maybe we don't always want to be with them all the time, so if they are fading their drive to the left, maybe if I want some peace and quiet I will drive purposely to the right.

But that is being a bit extreme!

DSC01280 Golf is just the right type of sport, where we can play badly, but still feel it was all worth it, and enjoy a drink at the clubhouse afterwards. Perfect!

Perhaps what makes playing around of golf here in Thailand, is it's all just a bit more relaxed. In fact it can be very relaxed indeed.

As soon as your car drives up, you really don't have to lift a finger. All is required is a greeting to your caddie and they take over.

Maybe after changing into your trendy Loud Mouth outfit, or your Ian Poulter Tartan Trousers, you can indulge in a pre round snack in the club house.

No cups of tepid tea here… about some chicken Satay, washed down by a fresh young coconut. OK and a cold beer perhaps too.

Then outside where the golf cart awaits, with your smiling Thai caddie ready and willing.

She tells you her name is Beer! Oh really I thought she said did I want another drink!

She already has your tees and golf balls ready for the battle ahead, so off we head for the first tee, a Par 4, 350 yards.  No problem!

Beer tells you it is a 'Dog red reft'.  (I think she meant 'Dog leg left' but no matter…. ),  with bunker at 240 yards ahead. Aim 'light', she kindly explains.

Golfasian-Thailand-Super-Golf-Fam-Trip-2010-Pattaya-013 No matter, anyway as your ball sails off in the direction of the lake on the left. Caddie gives me a smile as she realises that maybe I did not take her advice.

Cheers from the Thailand Ball Manufacturers Associations, as my ball drops in the water, and they see their turnover doubling before their eyes!!!

Trying to impress Beer now, so completely miss hit my third shot and end up getting a miserable seven. Not a great start.

By the time we reach the back nine we have stopped at some very pleasant rest stops, wolved down numerous beers and enjoyed some excellent snacks to boot. My caddie now realises that I am no Tiger Woods, more like in the woods!

We then decide to involve our four caddies in some betting. Whoever gets closest to the pin on the next par 3, gives their caddie a chance to putt for a birdie or par. All other players chip in to pay if she succeeds.

Caddies all join in the fun, and we are now eight merry players wobbling up the 15th.

Must say it is a bit much when you tee off again over a lake, to find three scantily clad Thai men waiting to dive in and get your ball….I will probably buy it back a few times in the club's pro shop over the next few months.

Luckily I make it to the green, much to Beer's delight and she putts in two to win a few more baht.

I think we have maybe let two groups through, laughed when the caddies tried to tell us about their favourite movie 'Hally Potter', and had a thoroughly enjoyable four hours of good fun….called golf!

Of course I forgot to mention that we had played amongst some fantastic scenery, saw a few cheeky monkeys, some lizards, a number of colourful birds (feathered variety) and it did not snow!

Playing in Thailand is a unique experience not to be missed, and it is all done with a big smile too.

Yes, now I can remember why I like to play golf!

Back To The Sixties! – Titanium Club in Bangkok

Back To The Sixties! – Titanium Club in Bangkok

I have to admit I do like to relax after a day on the golf course, perhaps with a cold beer listening to some great music.

Once you have discussed all those great shots you thought you made around some of Bangkok’s many wonderful golf courses, had the massage, eaten, then it’s time to hit the town.

Bangkok's night life has literally hundreds of bars, night clubs and discos to choose from, ranging from a roadside vans blasting out the hits, to the swanky hotel clubs.

Personally I am not into drum and bass or garage music. In fact I’ve been known to panic when they say ‘Who is this Eric Clapton you talk about?’

Well for all you middle age hippies out there all is not lost. While Red Mountain maybe my golf course heaven down in Phuket, Titanium is now my music base when in Bangkok.

Titanium-disco-bangkok Located off Sukhumvit on Soi 22, Titanium Club and Ice Bar is one of Bangkok’s coolest bars with innovative lighting, creative drinks and great sounds.

Upstairs, check out their Ice Bar, where the temperature is down to minus 10degrees C and offers the most spectacular array of vodkas in all of Thailand.

There is a great house band called Unicorn, an all female group who can really play with passion.

But for me and my golf buddies, the star attraction undoubtedly is to hear at full blast Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd played to perfection by the club’s other house band, The Big Boy Band.

Five middle aged Thai guys who can achieve a perfect rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody with all the harmonies is my type of music high.

They give it all and play all the old favourites from Dire Straits to the Rolling Stones.

They don’t play every night so best check out what’s on by calling tel +66 (0)2 258 3758.

Give the girlie bars a rest next time and head down to Soi 22. Apparently the club holds a Doctors and Nurses night once a month as well. Get your Vodka injections here, and watch your drive go that extra few more yards !!!

Warm-Up Routines No Good For Your Golf Game?

Warm-Up Routines No Good For Your Golf Game?

Spleen_meridien There was a collective sigh of relief last week from members of my favourite Golf Society in Thailand, the Mainly Unquenchables Golf Society (the MUGS). One long-time member, Alistair – a Desperate Dan look-alike with a dry sense of humour and what he describes as a ‘power fade’ (i.e. a huge slice) – brought along to the MUGS “clubhouse”, the Limping Cockroach pub, a DVD which he had somehow acquired. This apparently demonstrates that common warm-up routines may be robbing us of our strength and energy before we even approach the first tee. In the DVD, "Par and Beyond Secrets to Better Golf," Dr. Jerry V. Teplitz explains the “Meridian Acupuncture” lines in the human body and how these energy fields affect your golf game. It seems that when we take practice swings, we are interfering with and reducing the flow of energy in our body and our ability to drive the ball farther. To prevent this, Dr.Teplitz advises, simply take your practice swings and then rub your stomach along the “Spleen Meridian” line to restore the energy in your body. To order your copy or find out more about the DVD, visit This all came as great news to most MUGS members, many of whom can be seen red-faced, wheezing and gasping as they approach the first tee, having tried in vain to follow the latest warm-up advice, but failing even to touch their knees, let alone their toes (which most have not seen in years). Alistair’s plan was to explain to his caddie about the “Spleen Meridian” line so that she would know exactly where to rub. All this was of little interest to one MUGS member, 4-handicapper, ginger-haired, John, whose pre-game routine is to lay waste to a large bowl of spicy noodle soup, washed down with a big bottle of Singha beer. Invariably, he then strolls to the first tee and dissects the fairway with his opening drive.

It was John who caused another rules argument on the last MUGS outing to Lakewood Golf & Country Club in Bangkok. He had hit a great shot on the par three fifth hole on the Rock course to within a foot of the pin. One of the other players in his four-ball, loss-adjuster Robert, was short of the green, chipped on, and knocked John’s ball into the hole. John claimed that he had the right to either replace his ball where it had been, or to leave it where it finished, i.e. in the hole. So he claimed a birdie two. The MUGS organiser, Charlie (a.k.a. the “Ayatollah Hogmanay”) was called upon to give a ruling. He decided that what John was claiming was an old rule and he had in fact scored four. Charlie explained this is now covered in Rule 18-5, Ball at Rest Moved by Another Ball. There is no penalty to either player as long as the following procedure is adhered to: The person whose shot struck the ball at rest plays his ball as it lies; the person whose ball was moved returns the ball to its original position. Failure to replace the ball that was moved to its original spot; as in John’s case, results in loss of hole in match play or a 2-stroke penalty in stroke play.

If you have had to seek a ruling on an unusual happening on the golf course, please post it, or email it to me and I will do the rest.

Play fast, swing slow.

Sex, Lies and Obsession

Sex, Lies and Obsession

Could golfers be the most driven and obsessive of athletes? 

Sex_lies_cartoon_1 A survey from Lexus, in connection with the automaker’s involvement with the U.S. Open Championship, reveals that golfers may be the most fanatic and persistent of sportsmen. Whether it means skipping out on family obligations or forgoing their next raise, there’s almost nothing they won’t do to achieve perfection. Here are the findings from the survey:

Ø      Four out of ten golfers (43%) would readily give up sex for a month in order to have the perfect golf swing!

Ø      And more than one in five — 22% — would give up their hair!.

Ø      Another 21% would be willing to sacrifice their next raise.

Ø      In their never-ending quest for perfection, a majority of golfers have told a white lie about where they were when they were actually playing golf (60%).

Sex_lies_cartoon_2 Ø      Two out of three golfers have skipped work in order to play golf (66%).

Ø      More than four out of ten have skipped church or religious services (43%), and a similar percentage have bailed out on a family gathering (41%).

Ø      In what may well lead to a record number of women signing up for golf lessons, 43% of women who golf say the sport has improved their relationship with their significant other.

Ø      Three out of ten golfers say if they had to choose, they’d rather have a perfect golf swing than a perfect marriage (30%).

Sex_lies_cartoon_3 Ø     Ø More than seven out of ten young golfers ages 18-29 admit they’ve called in sick and gone to the course rather than to work (73%).

Ø  Nearly one out of every two golfers (49%) says when buying a car they check to see how many bags of clubs can fit into the trunk.

Ø  More than one in five golfers (22%) say their golf skills beat their skills in bed or behind the wheel: they’re better at golf than at sex or driving!

Play fast, swing slow.

Play It As It Lies

Play It As It Lies

Play_it_as_it_lies_2 Members of my favourite Golf Society in Thailand, the Mainly Unquenchables Golf Society (the MUGS) returned to Bangkok this week from their regular mini golf tour to Cha Am / Hua Hin. There they played the Dragon Hills, Royal Hua Hin and Springfield Village courses. Apparently, the trip gave rise to more than the usual number of disagreements about golf rules interpretation. The MUGS organiser, Charlie (a.k.a. the “Ayatollah Hogmanay”) was called upon a number of times to issue his edict. The MUGS “clubhouse”, the Limping Cockroach pub is still echoing with opposing views.

Billy, he of the flailing golf swing that can only be compared to a manic food mixer, was first to tee off on the tour. He skulled his ball, never to be seen again, off the heel into thick grass about twelve yards to the left of the tee to resounding cheers from the other fifteen members, and their caddies, gathered around. He opted to play three off the tee, but the onlooking crowd were roughly evenly divided as to whether or not he was allowed to tee the ball up again. Charlie’s decision: yes.

Then, Mike, a huge man and a former senior manager for a multinational company in Thailand, whose weight in stone is only just less than his handicap (24) and Dave, who all around eighteen holes and, indeed, throughout the post-golf evening, keeps up a non-stop commentary (which is probably what caused the problem), got into a mess on the 12th hole. They were sharing a golf cart and, it was only when they took their putters out that they realised that, inadvertently, they had been playing the hole using each other’s clubs! The general consensus was that they each should be penalised two shots for each shot that they took with the wrong club. Charlie’s decision: one two shot penalty each only.

On Springfield, John,  a retired security expert with a bad back who, as he finds it difficult to bend down, takes a second caddie to tee up the ball, had an air shot on the 2nd fairway. It was only as he addressed the ball again that he realised that it was his playing partner’s ball. As it was the wrong ball, John claimed that he should not be penalised! Charlie’s decision: one shot penalty.

Play_it_as_it_lies_1 A seemingly innocent mango grove caused a furore on Royal Hua Hin. Stephen, a lecturer in law at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, and as fastidious and meticulous on the golf course as off, hit a long iron into the mango trees. To the incredulity of his playing partners, he immediately claimed free relief as going into the grove would constitute a “Dangerous Situation” under the Rules of Golf. Apparently, according to Stephen, mango is in the same family as poison ivy and the mango fruit skin contains urushiol, which can cause dermatitis. The last time he had picked a mango on the golf course, having subsequently answered nature’s call, he developed a rash in a rather…er, sensitive area, if you know what I mean. Hey, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. Gives a whole new meaning to ‘scratch golfer’ doesn’t it. As it happened, Charlie was playing in the same four ball and, much to Stephen’s disgust, ruled that his ball should be played ‘as it lies’ or, declared ‘unplayable’.

Back at the Limping Cockroach, Charlie was able to back up his decision by referring to the USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf: Decision 1-4/11 – Meaning of “Dangerous Situation”.

Q. According to Decision 1-4/10, a ball lying near a live rattlesnake or bees’ nest is a “dangerous situation” and relief should be granted in equity. If a player’s ball comes to rest in or near an area of plants such as poison ivy, cacti or stinging nettles, should the provisions of Decision 1-4/10 apply?

A.  No. The player must either play the ball as it lies or, if applicable, proceed under Rule 26 (Water Hazards) or Rule 28 (Ball Unplayable). Decision 1-4/10 contemplates a situation which is unrelated to conditions normally encountered on the course. Unpleasant lies are a common occurrence which players must accept.”

Ain’t golf wonderful! If you have had to seek a ruling on an unusual happening on the golf course, please post it, or email it to me and I will do the rest.

Play fast, swing slow.

Golf’s Worst Foursome

Golf’s Worst Foursome

An assortment of golfing items for your pleasure today:

First, a golf trivia question for you (answer below): For all golfers in the USA who have established official handicaps, is the average handicap over or under 18?

Asamalexis20crop Second, congratulations to Tiger Woods (whose mother is of course Thai) and wife, Elin on the birth of their daughter, Sam Alexis Woods, born early Monday morning, June 18th only hours after the very exciting ending of the US Open and Tiger’s missed birdie on the final hole. How considerate of mother and daughter to wait until after the end of the US Open. Apparently, it is the first time Tiger has been happy to be par (Pa, geddit!)

Third, congratulations also to Angel Cabrera who won the US Open. He joins 1967 British Open Champion Roberto De Vicenzo as the only Argentines to win a major Championship. Here is what Angel had in his bag:

Driver – Ping Rapture 7.5 degrees
3 wood – Ping TiSi Tech 14 degrees
Hybrid – Nickent 3DX DC ironwood 17 degrees
Irons (3-9) – Ping S58 w/ Rifle 7.0 shaft
Pitching Wedge – Ping S58 47 degrees
Sand Wedge – Titleist Vokey spin milled 54 degrees
Lob Wedge – Titleist Vokey prototype 60 degrees
Putter – Ping Redwood Anser 35 inch long
Ball – Titleist Pro V1x

Last, an item that I read somewhere which amused me:

What is golf’s worst foursome? Answer: Monica Lewinski, O. J. Simpson, Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Why? Well, Monica is a hooker, O. J. is a slicer, Ted can’t drive over water, and Bill can’t remember which hole he played last.

Being a Brit, I have to propose my worst golf foursome as: Tony Blair (likely always to be found where there are Bushes), Gordon Brown (his score is never quite what it seems when you look more closely), John “Two Jags” Prescott (the Club secretary’s not safe, and he’s likely to biff you for saying so), and Alastair Campbell (too much spin). Oops, there goes my M.B.E.!

I’d really appreciate it if you could let me have your worst golf foursomes, with the reasons you chose them. Either post them, or email to me and I will do the rest.

Also, I will be speaking at a golf dinner later this year and if anyone out there knows a good golfing grace, e.g. “For what we are about to receive ……..”, I would love to hear it.

Play fast, swing slow!

Golf trivia question answer: The average handicap for all golfers in the US with established official handicaps is 17.3

“I See”, Said The Blind Man

“I See”, Said The Blind Man

Bruce_hooper_international_blind_go My attention was drawn this week by a visiting golfer in Thailand, to a golf tournament held earlier last month at Downfield Golf Club in Dundee in Scotland. The tournament was attended by over 20 partially sighted and blind golfers, including Tayside and Fife Blind Golf Society. Most players were accompanied by a guide who assisted in describing distance, direction and characteristics of the hole. They also helped with club alignment.

I guess most participants would have thought they would have an equal chance with all the other competitors when they teed off. But when some began holing long putts, pointing towards the green and even reading from their own scorecards, some eyebrows were raised. And by the time the winner walked off the 18th green the result was already in doubt amid claims that sighted players had taken part.

One observer, who did not want to be named, was appalled at the apparent ‘abuse of goodwill’ and wrote an anonymous letter to the local newspaper. It said: ‘I work in the voluntary sector so am aware of most disabilities and their consequences, but it was obvious the majority of these “blind” people were sighted. In the clubhouse I observed “blind” people walking around unaided, buying refreshments and going up and down stairs with ease. Outdoors many were pulling their own trolleys and one in particular was reading a scorecard. I watched players tee off with little or no assistance and several watched their own shot approach a green. One particular gentleman even pointed up the fairway before asking “Is that a flag?” I struggled to see the flag against the tree line, and I can see to drive a car! Perhaps the worst of all was the number of “blind” players who putted out without any assistance and then picked their own ball out of the cup.’ Downfield Golf Club said that it would not be taking any action.

Hmmm. That reminds me of the golfing joke about the Social Worker, the Surgeon, the Bank Manager and the Engineer playing a four ball at their local club one Saturday morning. Play was disastrously slow and the four enquired of the course marshal what was causing the hold up. The marshal told them: ‘Remember last year when the clubhouse nearly burnt down and was only saved by the fast response from the local fire brigade? Well, one of the firemen involved, who was a keen golfer, lost his sight and, as a gesture, the club has allowed him to play a round of golf today.’ ‘Wow, that’s great!,’ said the Social Worker, ‘I can make sure that he is getting all of the social services that he needs.’ ‘Yes,’ said the Surgeon, ‘and my wife is a top eye specialist. I’ll arrange an appointment for him to check that everything is being done to restore his sight’. ‘And I can arrange to set up a trust fund to pay for any treatment’ said the Banker. Then the Engineer piped up: ‘Why can’t he play at night?’

If anyone has an interesting or amusing story about golf in Thailand , or elsewhere, please post it or email it to me.

Play fast, swing slow!

Welcome to this, the first posting on Thailand Golf Blog!

Welcome to this, the first posting on Thailand Golf Blog!

My aim is to provide information and comments about all aspects of golf, especially in Thailand, and indeed elsewhere, in a lighthearted and hopefully amusing style. The Thailand Golf Blog is meant to complement our ‘big sister’ blog, That blog offers golf course reviews, special Thailand golf playing tips and advice, and holiday and vacation planning, along with first hand expert knowledge. It perhaps has a more serious approach, whereas here you will find golf stories from Thailand and around the world, golf humour (or even humor) and golf trivia.

Mugs_10 In particular, I hope that you might enjoy tales, mostly apocryphal, from my favourite Golf Society in Thailand, the Mainly Unquenchables Golf Society (the MUGS). I occasionally join its Wednesday afternoon outings when I am in Bangkok and time allows. The MUGS “clubhouse” is the Limping Cockroach Pub in the middle of one of Bangkok’s less salubrious soi’s, surrounded by go-go bars, massage parlours and dimly-lit bars. Yet, the interior of the pub is like the gentlemen’s bar in a long-established, superior golf club: with leather seats all around, and golfing prints and trophies and past champion boards on the walls. The female staff have nearly all been there for as long as I can remember, well over twenty years, and probably by the looks of it, much longer. A recent new-fangled innovation was the installation of a TV set, much to the disgust of many of the decrepit-looking clientele. The eclectic and occasionally eccentric MUGS members are mainly old Far Eastern hands, and include Vietnam War veterans, senior managers in large international enterprises, successful businessmen, retirees, and some slightly mysterious characters who nobody is quite sure what they are doing in Thailand. Most are members of Bangkok Golf Clubs but prefer to enter the MUGS Wednesday stableford tournament on whichever of Bangkok’s golf courses the group is still allowed to play on. Their handicaps range from plus 2 to 28, with every standard in between. The MUGS is run with an iron fist by Charlie, an uncompromising ex-services Scotsman, with a ram-rod straight back and a ginger toupee, also known as the ‘Ayatollah Hogmanay’. A couple of years back he was practicing playing his bagpipes in Lumpini Park and was arrested by the Tourist Police for carrying an offensive weapon! Charlie keeps meticulous records of all MUGS outings going back years. An occasional visiting guest was shocked last week when trying to claim a handicap of 18. He was told in no uncertain terms by Charlie that he would play off 14 since the last time he had played with the MUGS in July, 2002, he shot 86. Charlie also administers members’ handicaps (the MUGS is affiliated with the USGA) and adjudicates on rules disputes. Rarely is he wrong. Last October, Charlie had an unfortunate experience on the occasion of the MUGS visit to Alpine Sports Club. His four-ball – comprising Billy, a 26 handicapper whose flailing golf swing can only be compared to a manic food mixer, Roy, who suffers from probably the worst “yips” in the world yet is still a creditable 13 handicap, and Rob, an impossibly good-looking, 6 handicap, insurance loss adjustor by whom all of the lady caddies hope to be selected – were caught in a sharp downpour. Charlie’s caddie rushed to put up an umbrella to protect him but, in so doing, unfortunately caught on the tip of the umbrella spike not only Charlie’s golf cap, but also his toupee. Needless to say his playing partners were too polite to mention the incident – until, that is, he was standing over a four foot, borrowing clutch putt on the last hole, on which ‘the money’ was resting. “That’s what I call a hair-raising putt,” said Billy.

More tales from the MUGS in future postings. You are welcome to post and comment on this Thailand Golf Blog, preferably in the same jocular vein. And if any of you have an interesting or amusing story about golf in Thailand, or elsewhere, please email it to me. Play fast, swing slow!